Jax's eyes gazed up at me and seemed to smile before directing them back down at his mother. "You both are going to push him away. You're right, he is smart and doesn't need you to think for him."
Mrs. Stone let out a short, hard laugh. "And you wouldn't be where you are today if I hadn't pushed you so hard. All you wanted to do was play baseball with your buddies and play in a silly garage band with absolutely no talent other than yourself." Jax sighed, took a drink of his ice water, and turned to his mother. "Enough, Mom, don't start talking bad about the only real friends I ever had." Mrs. Stone leaned back, and Marcus touched my hand to draw my attention back to him and the reason we were in here. We stepped forward and, at the same time, removed the salad plates from in front of the Stones.
"May we get you something other than water to drink with your meal?" Marcus asked with a charming southern drawl. I found eyes once again watching me. I fought the urge to al ow my eyes to shift back in Jax's the urge to al ow my eyes to shift back in Jax's direction and to those eyes. Mrs. Stone sighed. "I suppose one glass of Merlot won't hurt me." She glanced over at her son and straightened her napkin in her lap as if trying to decide. "Bring me a glass of the best Merlot we have in the cellar."
Jax leaned back, and I could see he stil watched me. So, I took a calming breath and looked at him. "If I could have a glass of Ms. Mary's sweet iced tea please." I nodded and kept myself from returning his smile. "Yes, sir," Marcus replied. He stepped back and waved his hand so I would lead the way back to the kitchen.
I exited the large dining room and immediately took a deep breath. I hadn't realized how nerve wracking this would be. As soon as we entered the kitchen, Marcus smiled at me.
"What? Did I screw up?" Marcus shook his head and a blond lock of hair fel into his eyes. "No, you were great. Now let's get the crab bisque out there before Ms. Mary has a fit." He turned toward the housekeeper. "Ms. Mary, we need Merlot from the cellar."
Ms. Mary handed him the already opened bottle along with a glass. "I already figured as much, and here's Jax's sweet tea."
"I'll deal with the drinks," Marcus said. I was too grateful to ask why. I just nodded and fol owed him back down the hal toward the dining room. Right before we reentered, Marcus glanced back at me. "Ignore his watching you. You're a treat to the eyes. I can't blame him, but if you want to keep this job, try to become invisible." He winked then opened the door. My goal in life was to become invisible. I thought I'd been attempting to do just that. Apparently, I needed to try harder.
"I intend to get in a lot of time just relaxing on the beach. I like the private beach access we have here and the thought of being able to chil on the beach with no one wanting to speak to me, meet me, or get me to sign an autograph is what I've been craving al year. I need a break. I know Gregory hates the idea of my being unavailable for three months, but I need this for my sanity." Jax glanced up at me as I sat the bowl of bisque in front of him. "Thank you," he whispered.
"I want you to have a break too. Gregory thinks a little time in front of your fans this summer would be great PR. Maybe you could do a beach concert, or just do a few movie premiers." Jax shook his head. "No way, Mom. I refuse to make my presence here known. I chose Alabama because it is not a highly populated area. Better yet, this little island here is private. I wil consider a few movie premiers but nothing else. No concerts." Mrs. Stone shrugged her shoulders.
"Well, I told Gregory I would try, and I did. He can deal with you. You're an adult. I'm not going to pressure you anymore." Jax continued to eat, and I stood beside Marcus staring out the window and back at Jax's bowl waiting for the moment when I would need to remove it. I glanced up at Marcus, and he met my eyes with a smile. He was al business, and I could tel he wanted me to do wel here. I'd made a friend. Marcus lightly touched my arm and stepped forward. I immediately fol owed, and we removed their bowls.
"More sweet tea, sir?" Jax glanced at me and flicked his gaze toward Marcus. "Yes, please." Mrs. Stone's glass of wine was missing a sip at most. Marcus once again stepped back and al owed me to lead the way out. We did the same routine as before.
Once in the kitchen, we picked up the tray already prepared with the most rich, exotic foods I had ever seen. "Wow, they sure eat a bunch." "Mrs. Stone has only tasted her food so far, and my guess is she will barely touch this as well." "He eats al of his."
"Yep, but then he's a growing boy." I laughed at Marcus's imitation of Ms. Mary, picked up the tray, and fol owed him back down the now familiar hall . Once inside, I placed the food in front of Jax again, and Marcus handled the sweet tea for me. Jax and his mother ate in silence this time.
Occasional y, I sensed him watching me, and a brief touch from Marcus's hand no doubt reminding me I needed to appear invisible. I never acknowledged the curious steel blue eyes. Mother and son exchanged a few casual words, but for the most part, they ate in silence. Final y, after what seemed like an eternity, I inspected Jax to see if he'd finished, and our eyes met. I tried to tear my gaze away, but his eyes held a hint of laughter. I stared down at my feet, and Marcus squeezed my arm. It startled me. I looked up at him, and he nodded for us to take their plates. We cleared the places in front of them at the same time, and I walked toward the door already in routine.